Restaurants

Blu Island Bistro

By | January 16, 2014

blu-bistro

“A hidden gem of an eatery on the Island of Venice”blu-bistro

It’s so great to have a pleasant dining experience at an eating establishment I’ve heard so much about but haven’t had the time to dine at yet. So one afternoon on a whim, based only on word of mouth, my husband and I decided to try this quaint eatery as I’m always in search of unique places to recommend to my clients and/or treat to a business breakfast, lunch or dinner.

We were so pleasantly greeted by the hostess and shown to our table which overlooked the pool area of the small hotel adjoining next door. The décor had a beachy cottage sleek comfortable feel as if I were on vacation myself.

The made to order daily specials sounded great but we decided to order off the menu instead with the chicken tacos along with cilantro/lime slaw & fresh fruit and the two-handed Reuben brisket sandwich with homemade fries- delish! When our plates arrived, my eyes widened at the presentation of  just a lunch portion….all I can say is ..Wow! Our waitress was still attentive despite the busier it became due to the lunch time crowd and by the time we paid the bill and left, every table was full including a wait. We will definately go back for lunch, then try the breakfast and dinner.

Located across from Venice Hospital on the Venice Island at 625 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice adjacent to the Sun Island Inn Hotel.  Before you go, look at  the menus at www.bluislandbistro.com

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The Grill at OBricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar

By | October 25, 2013

O'BricksWe recently were pleased to find fine dining on Old Main Street in Bradenton. The Grill at O’Bricks, 425 Old Main St., occupies the storefront directly north of 427 Old Main St. It formerly was Cork’s Cigar Bar until Cork’s moved across the street last fall.

OBricks FoodTasty entrees of seafood, sirloin, chicken and pasta; soups, salads and Shepherd’s Pie; owner Mike Carter’s original wings, Key West shrimp, Cedar Key clams and a host of desserts. Wash it down with variety of beer and wine then sip on after-dinner drinks including a variety of coffees, ports, single malts or cognacs. Large and small plates are offered at very reasonable prices and the wait staff couldn’t be more attentive.

OBricks GrillQuiet upscale dining in a classy atmosphere with a décor highlighted by its use of Guanacaste wood imported from Costa Rica, similar to the adjacent pub. Interior access is available to and from the neighboring storefronts but don’t worry about cigarette smoke if you don’t like it. Smoking is prohibited inside both locations.

Ample seating is available inside “The Grill,” outside at tables on Old Main Street’s sidewalk and, if you prefer eating at or in the adjacent bar, you can do that, too. They have great happy hour deals until 7pm.

The Grill at O’Bricks is open from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call (941) 896-8860 for reservations.

 

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Tequila Cantina in Sarasota

By | October 18, 2013

Tequila Cantina

Tequila CantinaTequila Cantina Tequileria & Tacos

1454 Main Street in Downtown Sarasota

Stopped by with a couple friends and family last Friday for happy hour (4-8pm). The owner, Kenny, greeted us and actually explained to us about the $3 beers, Chilean wines, wells, & margarita’s, and the $5 appetizers for happy hour! We sat outside and Nick, our server, immediately took our drink orders. The beer was cold and the appetizer wings were great. Spark Notes, our new favorite duo, was singing and were perched precariously above the bar and sounded great! The energy was pumping and the crowd was having a good time! Fun time, great drinks, food, and energy… I’ll be back….

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S’Macks Burgers & Shakes

By | October 11, 2013

S'Macks Logo

S'Macks LogoThe corner of Bee Ridge and Shade is sporting a new  neighbor, S’macks Burgers & Shakes! We stopped in for a late lunch yesterday and were surprised at the limited menu but found the food to be quite tasty.

S’macks offers you Burgers with a conscience. From their Never Ever Burgers (no hormones or steroids), 100% grass-fed Bison burgers from a family-owned Punta Gorda ranch, specially made S’macks Top Dogs, and locally sourced potatoes & sustainably farmed produce, S’macks sets a new standard for Sarasota by combining fast casual dining with the highest quality ingredients. Their old fashioned frozen custard and shakes, made fresh daily, compliment the menu. They always have vanilla and chocolate plus a flavor of the day which was Cake Batter on Wednesday. I have to say it was the best custard I’ve ever had!

The former service station is sprouting a clean, sleek, vibrant look and has been built to the USGBC LEED BD+C specifications. With wood ceilings and detailing, finished concrete flooring, and specialty LED lighting inside and out, the urban comfort zone that is S’macks welcomes you.  With an 800 square foot patio, indoor/open air seating for 64, and interior art surprises, S’macks serves up a delicious regeneration of Sarasota’s rich culinary heritage.

If you’re in the area of Bee Ridge and Shade give them a try…you won’t be disappointed.

To view the menu and get more information visit their website at http://www.geckosgrill.com/smacks-burgers-and-shakes.php

 

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Tea Party for One

By | September 17, 2013

cafe-posh-at-posh-onPosh on Palm does not look like a cafe to most from the outside. If patrons were to walk through the shabby-chic store that carries linens, candles, soaps and other lovely things, they would come across a posh tea salon situated in the back. Tables covered in cloth are surrounded by over-stuffed, plush chairs. Order a cappuccino and one of the scrumptious, homemade desserts that sit upon beautiful cake stands and under bell-shaped, glass domes. The coconut cake is gorgeous and tastes just as wonderful. Sip your coffee and savor the sweet cloud of coconut and fluffy cake held together with decadent frosting. The portion is generous, so it is perfect for sharing or treating yourself to something extra special.

Posh on Palm, 333 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, 941-954-7674

Courtesy of  SRQ Daily

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“Benvenuto! Welcome to Chianti”

By | August 23, 2013

chianti-ristorante-italiano
Chianti…Charming atmosphere and superb Italian cuisine.

 

Pleasantly surprised…. my senses were in for a treat! Chianti brings to Sarasota innovate and delicious Italian recipes with elegant presentation. The Executive Chef, Al Massa, and Owner-Chef Edward Pizzuti, are quite ambitious in the kitchen.   Chianti’s Old World,  traditional Italian recipes originate from many generations of family cooking in Italy, classic recipes from Sicily and Tuscany.

I had an opportunity to meet and talk briefly last evening with Owner-Chef Edwardo. I asked him what brought the Pizzuti Family to Sarasota?

He replied,  “after several visits to Florida, my wife Josie and I chose Sarasota for our retirement, but soon discovered that retirement was not for us. After spending the 2012 summer in our new Sarasota home, playing some golf and visiting many local restaurants, we saw a need for our type of Italian cuisine and our unique style of operating. When the location on 3900 Clark Road became available, we decided to buy the building and build Chianti Ristorante Italiano. After extensive remodeling and upgrading Chianti opened the doors. With combined expertise and talents in a very short time we have built a strong repeat customer base. Josie and I love Sarasota and plan on being here with Chianti for many years”.

For additional information…reservations and menu review CLICK HERE

                            Buon Appetito!

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Burns Square District

By | July 26, 2013

Owen BurnsThe Burns Square District was developed in the 1920’s
by Owen Burns.

Burns Square District…Very Historic…Very Cool.  A Collage of high end retail, restaurants, fine art, cinema and much more. I could write a novel about this historical site. However, since I am on my way to sell a home, I will highlight two favorites:

 

Owens Fish CampFirst, one of my favorite eateries Owen’s Fish Camp. Located in Burns Court on Burns Lane, Downtown Sarasota. Fabulous. Southern county style in a cool, comfortable urban setting.

 

 

Burns Court CinemaSecond, Nestled in the middle of historic Burns Square you will find Burns Court Cinema (look for raspberry-colored landmark). The Sarasota Film Society is a non profit member-supported cinema dedicated to providing the highest level of entertainment…first run foreign language, independent and art films.  A great way to spend the afternoon or evening…a great way to support the Sarasota Film Society…become a member.

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Summer Menus Just in Time for Father’s Day

By | June 15, 2013

Three KitcheneersThe Three Kitcheneers share some great places for Summer Menus and to take Dad for a special treat!  Check them out…www.threekitcheneers.com/

Andrea's Peach Salad

 

One of the restaurants highlighted is Andrea’s located at 2085 Siesta Drive in Sarasota. Check out their peach & gorgonzola “brulee” over organic spinach and pecan salad…

 

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Cedar Reef Fish Camp in Venice and Now in Bradenton

By | June 7, 2013

Cedar Reef Fish CampCedar Reef Fish Camp just opened a second location in the Twelve Oaks Plaza in Bradenton taking over the space previously occupied by Gio. They have been in Venice for several years. We had a chance to check out the new location recently and were happy to find another great spot for fresh fish and seafood in town.

We started off with Calamari Fries and Oysters Rockefeller followed by the catch of the day which was Red Snapper and Tilapia Florentine. Both dishes were well prepared and couldn’t have been fresher.

The ambiance is casual and service was friendly and attentive. If you’re in the mood for some of south Florida’s freshest catch give them a try.

For the menu and more information visit their website at www.cedarreef.com.

 

 

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The Blue Marlin Grill in Bradenton Beach

By | June 1, 2013

blue_marlin_building

We recently attended the Food and Wine on Pine event on Anna Maria Island. Many of the local restaurants were there serving some of their specialty dishes. Our favorite from that day was the Shrimp & Grits from the Blue Marlin Grill in Bradenton Beach so this weekend we decided to have dinner there.

 

The Blue Marlin is located in an original 1920’s cottage on historic Bridge Street Blue Marlin Grill Interiorwhere the first bridge to Anna Maria Island was located.  Nautical ship-lamps provide cozy lighting at their beer & wine bar.  The outdoor courtyard, “The Trap Yard”, offers live music on the weekends, and a great covered deck.

Their specialty is serving the fish that is caught each day…on Sunday that was red snapper. They have other items on the menu but you can’t go wrong with the fresh fish. You can choose from several preparations and I can recommend the picata which was a lemon butter sauce with capers. The entree was served with a side of black-eyed peas and rice with steamed fresh vegetables. All of the food was perfectly seasoned and delicious.

Bridge Street is a great spot to visit local shops, walk to the city pier, see the city’s clock tower or play mini-golf just down the street.

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